In order to circumvent this problem, Accelerator-based mass-spectrometric (AMS) techniques was introduced: All the 14C atoms can be counted directly, rather than only those decaying during the counting interval allotted for each analysis.
The AMS technique allows one to date samples containing only a few milligrams of carbon.2.
Varying C-14 Compositions Variations of C-14 compositions in the atmosphere (Up to 1%, according to Hessel de Vries, a Dutch physicist at the University of Groningen).3.
C-14 concentration was drastiscally reduced by the release of large amounts of CO2 from ancient organic sources where C-14 is not present (i.e Fossil fuels). For this reason, raw, uncalibrated readings before 1950 are classified under BP (Before Present), which indicates the number of years of an object in relation to the 1950 date.This was the date given in part because of the absence of large-scale nuclear testing, particular in the Northern Hemisphere, which increased atmospheric C-14 dramatically.At this point, the C-14 atoms begin to decay, while the C-12 atoms remain constant.Because of C-14's ability to decay in contrast to C-12's constant, a prediction can be made towards the age of a fossil.The truth is, C-14 decomposition is highly consistent, with a margin error of plus or minus 40 years.
That, in scientific parlance, is a very good tolerance.When a cosmic ray collides with an atom in the atmosphere, a secondary cosmic ray is formed in the form of an energetic neutron.When this neutron collides with a nitrogen atom (N-14), a chemical reaction takes place: The Nitrogen 14 (seven protons, seven neutrons) converts into a carbon-14 aom (six protons, eight neutrons) and a hydrogen atom.Long regarded with as much vitriol as Darwin's revolutionary idea of Evolution, carbon dating debunks the "Young Earth" Creationist Model: Because of its ability to date fossils upwards to 60,000 years, radiocarbon dating has long been regarded as Darwin's (Read Satan's) advocate.Discovered by Willard Frank Libby and his colleagues in 1949, during his tenure as a professor at the University of Chicago, Libby invented what would eventually change the face of archaeology by giving a time frame to fossilized specimens.In short, it takes 5,700 years to reduce C-14 by 50%, another 5700 years to reduce to 25%, and so on, at an exponential rate.